This guitar, and it's slightly higher spec'ed cousin the Yamaha SG 2000 were a quite popular choice in the late 70s/ early 80s, originally popularised by the likes of Carlos Santana and Bill Nelson (Be-Bop Deluxe) then taken up by a number of post punk/ new wave guitarists, in particular John McGeogh (Magazine/ Siouxsie and the Banshees), Stuart Adamson (Skids/Big Country), and Andy Taylor (Duran Duran). The SG range were produced in Japan from 1976. It was an alternative to the ubiquitous Gibson Les Paul, with slightly hotter pickups, and a substantial weight akin to a Les Paul Custom, It's since become a bit of a cult classic.
This model holds a soft spot in my heart as a tobacco sunburst SG1000 was the main guitar of John McGeogh, one of my favourite guitar players who was a big influence on the likes of John Frusciante (who also now plays Yamaha SGs), Johnny Marr, and Jonny Greenwood ...all of whom also happen to be some of my favourite players - strange that they are all Johns!
The original Yamaha Grover type machine heads and serial number on back of headstock (2xxx) date the guitar to 1977, so a fairly early one. The original frets had a fair amount of wear so I dressed these. The guitar had an old plastic nut, which I removed and made a new one from bone (shown in photo) as this guitar deserves better.
The original alnico humbucker pickups (which came without covers), bridge and stop tail piece are in place. The original volume pots did not work very well, despite a good clean, so I replaced them with good quality CTS pots for a smooth operation (keeping the old pots). The original push /push tone pots provide a coil split for a single coil sound - these worked fine so I left them alone. The volume and tone knobs were not original and did not fit the new pot shafts, so I replaced these with barrel knobs which look quite nice.
The body is solid mahogany with a maple top, the set neck is also mahogany with an ebony fretboard inlaid with distinctive pearl chevron inlays. The quality of the build is apparent when looking at the finishing details - the triple bound bound body and headstock and fancy headstock inlay.
The guitar still had it's original green velvet lined case.
This is a high quality instrument, in my view better than most guitars coming from Gibson during the 1970's (when their quality control was somewhat suspect). You don't see many for sale in the UK these days, but if you can find one, in my opinion they are still great value and you get a lot of guitar for your money. They also look super cool!
As a luthier, and also a vintage guitar enthusiast, I'll be posting articles about guitar repair, guitar construction, and also vintage instruments